Social media interaction gives organizations’ opportunity to do their own brand-connection and communicating with their customers, prospects and generating potential new leads about who they are. By using social media channel, they are directly representing their business.
Social media is about being social, it is not just about marketing, support or any other singular function. It is about to really getting to know your consumers, interacting and communicating with them in all channels. It’s quickly becoming common wisdom among marketers that a strategy is needed to use social media effectively.
For many brands social media is now a ‘last mile’, that final connection with the customer.
Change has been happening slowly though. For decades, corporations have built a marketing and sales infrastructure. These infrastructures slowly evolve over time, and social media is changing that (hopefully they can learn from their mistakes).
For consumer product manufacturers, back to decade ago, often the ‘last mile’ is the retailer and are not interact with end-consumers directly, they just leave the only customer interaction to be customer service, which is not a healthy way to start an engagement relationship (you’d only talk to the consumer when your product wasn’t working etc). By that time, an e-commerce revolts when manufacturers had the gall to sell their products directly online, but it’s a common occurrence now.
The opportunity of social media to provide that ‘last mile’ connection is also the challenge. It upsets many of the existing infrastructures both internally and externally within a corporation and that has consequences.
Back to Jan, Dave Coustan had a slide that talked about the agency feeding frenzy associated with content-related programs. (It’s slide 11 for those scoring at home). You can take that same slide and replace the outer ring with internal divisions.
See the internal battle over who manages social media lying there? Well-run social media programs with good measurement can quickly show their value, and with that value comes increased budget and internal power. If you are on the right team, it’s a good place to be.
If the battle rages on and if a truce is not reached the social media strategy becomes fragmented. Business units could create their own plans and associated accounts on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube which might lead to the issues like duplication of efforts, confusion for the user, mapping back to core goals, screw ups or face the support and measure problems.
Thus,when companies start to adopting social media throughout their organizations, they need to start with a cohesive plan that involves all of the key groups within the organization, as well as engage them together. This is the key for them to further their socializing business successfully.